Need a fair opinion and advice ..

Jun 14, 2012
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Thanks in advance for any responses to my request. Here is the issue that I/we have. We're a small state government agency and have been running on obsolete legacy systems; unfortunately, there are many of them since everytime something was needed, they went and built something new but everything runs off an IBM DB2 mainframe. We have some funds to try to modernize our systems in an effort to become more efficient since we have a great deal of redundancy in our processes and believe this will save us funds in the long run. I happen to be a manager on the business side and would like an affordable and fairly efficient system. One of the options we are looking at is that another state in the same business as us is interested in a partnership with us and already has substantially better systems than ours since they went through a modernization process about seven years ago. However, as a multi-state consortium, there is potential for additional grant funding which they are interested in to further modernize their systems which both states could use. While about 80% of their processes are the same, we would have to modify their existing system to make it work for us. I (as well as others on the business side) see this as a positive since we could get a head start and possibly be looking at a decent system in a much shorter time frame in addition to the possibility of not having to expend as much tax payer funds.

However, our IT folks (primarily the IT Director) insists that we are a 'dot net shop' and cannot switch to a 'Java shop' - frankly, in most of our opinions, she is good for nothing lol - and I would like an independent opinion from some experts whether 'switching shops' is really as dramatic a change as she would have us believe. Following are a few things to premise my inquiry:


- We would like to consolidate all our (5-6) systems into a singular system in order to reduce/eliminate redundancy in our work.

- We would need to get this accomplished within our budget of approximately $25 - $30 million (including all hardware and licensing costs).

- All current systems would need to be re-written to accomodate for changes we need as well as consolidation of systems.

- We need to get away from the DB2 Mainframe and get a more efficient and stable back end.

- New system would work with Windows since we currently use Windows based PCs across our agency.


- IBM Mainframe running a 30+ year Cobol system that has had patches everytime there were legal changes, etc.

- About three dot net systems running; all of these systems need to be re-coded to be incorporated into the newer singular system.

Given the above scenario, I am looking for unbiased opinions and advice as to whether it is wise to go Java-wise vs. dot net as well as any other ideas. I/we really appreciate your time and effort.

Thank you.

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